247 Sports

Faxes in: Elijah Taylor


Cincinnati, OH

Measurables: 6’3″, 275 lbs.

Accolades: First-team AP All-State, Cincinnati Enquirer All-Star, first-team All-District, Top 300 player per Tom Lemming and Scout, All-USA Ohio team.

Other Impressive Offers: Florida State, Miami, Ohio State, Michigan State

Projected Position: Defensive Tackle


Quick Take: Taylor might need some additional time in the weight room, but he’s a potential run-stopper in the middle of the Irish defense. A thick bottomed, power player in the trenches, Taylor was a recruit coveted by some big programs.

He’s not going to jump off the screen necessarily, but he’s the type of player desperately needed at any program, and will be especially helpful as the Irish look for answers behind Jarron Jones and Sheldon Day.


What he means to the Irish: He might be the lone true two-gap player in this recruiting class. He’s not expected to be a pass rushing threat, but he will be able to anchor up front and read and react. As close to a nose guard as they come, and someone who will allow the Irish to slide in and out of three-man fronts as his career progresses.


Obligatory YouTube Clip: Here’s a quick look at some senior highlights from Taylor’s season at Archbishop Moeller.


Faxes in: Josh Adams

247 Sports

Warrington, PA

Measurables: 6’2″, 210

Accolades: All-USA Pennsylvania offensive player of the year, All-State 4A, All-Southeastern Pennsylvania (second team), 4-star prospect per 247 Composition.

Impressive Offers: Penn State, Stanford, Boston College, Pitt, Rutgers

Projected Position: Running back


Quick Take: Notre Dame was in on Adams early, committing to the lanky running back even after an ACL injury ended his junior season. That Adams came back with a vengeance wasn’t necessarily a surprise to the Irish staff, who monitored his rehab process carefully and is taking the long view on the somewhat under-the-radar speedster.

Usually a 1,623 yard senior season with 25 touchdowns would be enough to get fans excited about the big-play potential of a running back. But Adams won’t likely be all the way back from the injury until next season, where he’ll be part of a depth chart that could be looking for a designated home run hitter for their No. 3 running back.


What he means to the Irish: A critical early piece to the 2015 recruiting class and a great early gamble that panned out. With Adams locked in as the “sure thing” of the recruiting class, the Irish staff spent its time chasing national prospects like Soso Jamabo and Dexter Williams.

It’s hard to look at Adams and not see a back like George Atkinson. But any of the negatives that came with Atkinson’s inconsistencies both on and off the field don’t exist with Adams. Adam’s long stride and ability to eat yards by the bushel is certainly something that will be welcome in South Bend. .


Obligatory YouTube clip: Here’s some senior highlights of Adams making big plays to funky EDM beat.


Faxes in: Asmar Bilal


Indianapolis, IN

Measurables: 6-3, 205

Accolades: U.S. Army All-American, All-USA Indiana defensive player of the year, second-team MaxPreps All-American, Indianapolis Star Super Team, 6A State Champion.

Impressive Offers: Michigan, Michigan State, Nebraska, Texas A&M, Tennessee, Wisconsin

Projected Position: Inside Linebacker


Quick Take: An in-state product with a national recruiting profile. And a linebacker who is athletic enough to be a safety. Bilal runs like someone playing in the secondary, but hits like a cement truck. Notre Dame won a big recruiting battle over Michigan, benefitting from the coaching change in Ann Arbor.

He’ll need to add some weight, but Bilal is a physically impressive kid who looks chiseled from granite. And the disposition he has on the football field will make him one of this group’s favorites very quickly.


What he means to the Irish: A key piece to one of the most athletic linebacking corps in this recruiting cycle. With Bilal and early enrollee Tevon Coney, Notre Dame officially adds two athletes that would fit in at any school in America. (Expect another key piece in Josh Barajas.)

Wherever Bilal plays (and his versatility is a nice asset) he’s going to bring speed and violence to the position. As the Irish continue to strengthen their presence in Indianapolis, reeling in Bilal is a very big deal.


Obligatory YouTube clip: Enjoy watching Bilal search and destroy during these senior highlights.


Early Enrollees: Jerry Tillery

247 Sports

Shreveport, LA

Measurables: 6’5″, 315 lbs.

Accolades: US Army All-American, American Family Insurance All-USA, Second-team MaxPreps All-American, No. 3 player on New Orleans Times-Picayune Nifty 50, consensus 4-star recruit

Impressive Offers: LSU, Ole Miss, Texas A&M, Dartmouth

Projected Position: Defensive line / offensive tackle


Quick Take: Tillery committed a long ago to Notre Dame, yet the fact he landed on campus is still surprising to those that followed his recruitment closely. Coveted by Les Miles and the hometown Tigers, Tillery made it clear that he followed the beat of his own drummer and his recruitment reflected that.

A legit 6-5, 315, Tillery is a physical specimen, with time in the weight room and a commitment to only football likely to make him even more stout. Originally recruited as a blind side left tackle, Tillery will instead start his career along the defensive line, a place where he’ll be able to find the field much quicker.

His commitment to Notre Dame way back in June of 2013 likely kept him out of the mix for a five-star ranking and dozens of scholarship offers. But make no mistake, Tillery is an elite prospect.


What he means to the Irish: Regardless of where he ends up, it’s hard to imagine a scenario where Tillery doesn’t make a significant impact. A true student-athlete who used an official visit to take a look at Dartmouth, Tillery will likely dive into the student experience at Notre Dame this spring while also getting a jump start on his football career.

A key recruiting victory for one of Louisiana’s top prospects is a heckuva feather in the cap of Brian Kelly. If Tillery ends up becoming a front line player for the Irish, that can only help in the future.


Obligatory YouTube clip: Here’s a mixed highlight reel of Tillery on both sides of the football:


Get ready, Signing Day is almost here

Fax Machine

Tomorrow is officially Christmas morning for college football junkies. So before the sun rises, we’ll be monitoring the proceedings as we go wall-to-wall on National Signing Day.

Expect real-time updates as the faxes roll into the Gug, with breakdowns on all of Notre Dame’s recruits in the 2015 class. (Expect as many as 25 commitments, including the early enrollees.)

Also expect a reaction to Brian Kelly’s press conference. And a mailbag (now open) that should answer as many of your questions as possible.

We’ll have a non-stop presence both at the blog and also on Twitter, spending roughly 12 straight hours hooked to the laptop (and Keurig) as the fax machine makes its annual presence into our lives.

So with Notre Dame still in the mix for a safety (Arrington Farrar, Justin Reid and Nathan Meadors), along with wide receiver Equanimeous St. Brown and running back Dexter Williams, there’s plenty of intrigue.

I’ll also be a guest on UND.com’s Signing Day show, so if you’re looking to see an even more sleep deprived writer via Skype, tune in from Noon Eastern on over at WatchND.

Rest up.